President Obama, maybe in light of his horrendous interview appearances on Univision and “60 Minutes,” is now planning three days of debate prep. However, I sort of doubt there are aides who will ask the president the sort of questions that might come up in the debate.
On the foreign policy front, here are a few questions they should be putting to Obama:
If Iran is much closer to getting a bomb than when you took office, isn’t your Iran policy a failure?
After insisting on a settlement freeze and showing more daylight between the United States and Israel, there are no bilateral talks ongoing, and the Palestinian Authority has gone to the United Nations for a unilateral declaration. So isn’t your approach to the peace process a failure? And why is it you haven’t cut off U.S. aid to the Fatah-Hamas government?
China is more aggressive in Asia and more repressive internally than four years ago, so isn’t your China policy a failure?
You told Elie Wiesel and others at the Holocaust remembrance ceremony that you would do everything possible to help the Syrians, but 20,000 are dead and Assad is still in power, so isn’t your Syria policy a failure?
After Sept. 11, 2001, there were no terrorist attacks on the United States, but during your administration there have been the jihad-inspired Fort Hood massacre and the killing of four Americans in Libya, so isn’t your anti-terror record worse than Bush’s?
A new book documents “the Obama administration’s failed effort to negotiate terms for the long-planned-for stay-behind military force” and accuses you of failing to “engage in effective personal diplomacy at crunch time” and your administration of engaging in “wild over-confidence” and “paralyzed by infighting and poisonous civil-military relations.” Wasn’t the inability to negotiate a new status of forces agreement another significant failure on your part?
Then there is domestic policy. Here, aides should be preparing Obama for these sorts of queries:
Why is the recovery under your presidency worse than any other recovery since WWII?
You had big majorities in the Congress for the first two years, yet you did not pursue immigration reform, entitlement reform or tax reform. Why?
The public, by significant majorities, doesn’t like your health-care reform, Congressional Budget Office updates show it does not adhere to your promise not to add “one dime” to the deficit, and the CBO also reports that some 6 million Americans, including those making well below $200,000, will be hit by the statute’s tax, so why shouldn’t the statute be changed or repealed?
If you can decide not to enforce all of our immigration laws or amend the welfare work laws without Congress, why couldn’t a President Romney decide not to enforce Obamacare or parts of the IRS code?
The Associated Press reports: “A survey of U.S. chief executives shows a sharp drop in the number of large companies that plan to add jobs or hire more workers. . . . CEOs are worried about the impact of budget cuts and tax increases that are set to take effect at the start of next year.” Was it a mistake not to take up Congress’s offer to deal with the fiscal cliff earlier in the year?
In 2010 you agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts when the economy was growing more than it is now. If tax hikes are anti-stimulative, why not extend the cuts again?